US electric carmaker Tesla will recall as many as 14,123 cars in China over faulty airbags that contained parts made by now-defunct Japanese manufacturer Takata, the Chinese market regulator announced on Friday as reported by news agency AFP. This move is a part of the global recall of parts manufactures by the Japanese manufacturer, which went out of business in 2017 after its airbags were blamed for a number of deaths. The recall, because of faulty airbags, has virtually affected all automakers across the world who used to take their supply of airbags from Takata, the Japanese automotive parts supplier. Tesla’s official website said that the front passenger airbags in certain 2014-2016 Model S vehicles were affected and it will be replacing them.
As per the US National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reports, there have been at least 23 deaths and 300 injuries due to improperly inflated airbags, the media reported.
On January 7, Tesla CEO Elon Musk laid the foundation of a $7-billion plant at Shanghai in China, becoming the first company to benefit from a new Chinese policy of allowing foreign vehicle manufacturers to set up wholly-owned subsidiaries in the Asian nation. Till now, foreign automakers in China were required to forge joint ventures with domestic firms for establishing manufacturing plants, which means sharing profits and technology with local partners.
The plant, which is Tesla’s first outside the US, is located at Lingang, a high-end manufacturing park in the southeast harbour of Shanghai. It has an annual production capacity of 500,000 electric cars.
Tesla signed an agreement with the Shanghai municipal government in July 2018 to build the factory. In October, the company got the approval to use an 864,885 sq mt tract of land in Lingang for its Shanghai plant. Musk and Shanghai government officials attended the ground-breaking ceremony.
The Tesla factory, which will be built with an investment of over 50 billion yuan (USD seven billion), is the largest foreign-invested manufacturing project in Shanghai’s history, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Aiming at reinforcing its presence in the world’s largest market for electric cars, Tesla brought its Model S, Model X and Model 3 to the China International Import Expo held in November 2018 at Shanghai.
(With PTI inputs)